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In 1797 Coleridge had already published a vol- 
ume of verse and brought it to a second edition ; 
but it contained no promise of what was to come. 
Then the miracle happened. On the thirteenth 
of November of that year, at half-past four in 
the afcernoon, the three friends — Wordsworth, 
his sister Dorothy, and Coleridge — set off from 
Nether Stowey in Somerset to walk to Watchet, 
on their way to the Exmoor country, intend- 
ing to defray their expenses by the sale of a 
poem which the two men were to compose by 
the way. Before the first eight miles had been 
covered the plan of joint authorship had broken 
down, and Coleridge took the poem into his sole 
hands. He wrought at it until the following 
March. 'On the twenty-third of that month', 
writes Dorothy, ' Coleridge dined with us ; he 
brought his ballad. The Ancient Manner, finished. 


Wq walked with him to the miner's house. A 
beautiful evening, very starry, the horned moon.' 
We feel that the stars were out with excuse, to 
celebrate the birth of a star. 

The Ancient Manner sets one reflecting that, 
after all, the men of the Middle Ages had much 
to say for themselves, who connected poetry with 
magic, and thought of Virgil as a wizard. We 
can ignore the time and circumstance of its birth, 
ignore the theorizings out of which it sprang, 
ignore Wordsworth and his prefaces and the taste 
on which they made war ; and still, after more 
than a hundred years. The Ancient Mariner is the 
wild thing of wonder, the captured star, which 
Coleridge brought in his hands to Alfoxden and 
showed to Dorothy and William Wordsworth. 
Not in the whole range of English poetry — not 
in Shakespeare himself — has the lyrical genius of 
our language spoken with such a note. 

A voice so thrilling ne'er was heard . . . 
Breaking the silence of the seas 
Among the farthest Hebrides. 


Its music is as effortless as its imagery. Its 
words do not cumber it : exquisite words come 
to it, but it uses and straightway forgets them. 
Not Shakespeare himself, unless in snatches, so 
sublimated the lyrical tongue, or obtained effects 
so magical by the barest necessary means. 

The many men, so beautiful ! 
And they all dead did lie. 


The moving Moon went up the sky 
And nowhere did abide ; 
Softly she was going up, 
And a star or two beside. 


The body of my brother's son 
Stood by me, knee to knee : 
The body and I pulled at one rope, 
But he said nought to me. 

Here, and throughout, from the picture of the 
bride entering the hall to that of the home-coming 
in the moon-lit harbour, every scene in the pro- 
cession belongs to high romance, yet each is 


conjured up with that economy of touch we are 
wont to call classical. We forget almost, listening 
to the voice, that there are such things as words. 

And now 'twas like all instruments. 
Now like a lonely flute ; 
And now it is an angel's song 
That makes the heavens be mute. 

If, in criticism, such an epithet be pardonable, we 
would call that voice seraphic ; if such a simile, 
we would liken it to a seraph's, musing, talking 
before the gate of Paradise in the dawn. 



Facile credo, plures esse Naturas invisibles quam visibiles 

in rerum universitate. Sed horum omnium familiam quis 

nobis enarrabit ? etgradus et cognationes et discrimina et 

singuloYum munera f ^uid agunt f quae loca habitant ? 

Harum rerum notitiam semper ambivit ingenium huma- 

num, nunquam attigit. luvat, interea, non diffiteor, quan- 

doque in animo, tanquam in Tabula, maioris et melioris 

mundi imaginem contemplari: ne mens assuef acta hodier- 

nae vitae minutiis se contrahat nimis, et tota subsidat in 

pusillas cogitationes. Sedveritati interea invigilandum 

est, modusque servandus, ut certa ab incertis, 

diem a nocte, distinguamus. 

Archaeol. Phil.,p. 68. 


How a Ship having passed the Line was driven bj Storms 
to the cold Country towards the South Pole; and how 
from thence she made her course to the tropical Latitude 
of the Great Pacific Ocean; and of the strange things that 
befell; and in what manner the Ancjent Marinere came 
hack to his own Country. 

Part I 

It is an ancient Mariner, ^n ancient 

Mariner meeteth 

And he stoppeth one of three. three Gaiums 

hidden to a 

" By thy long grey beard and glittering eye, wedding-feast, 

and detaineth 

Now wherefore stopp'st thou me ? o«^- 

The Bridegroom's doors are open'd wide, 
And I am next of kin j 
The guests are met, the feast is set : 
May'st hear the merry din." 

He holds him with his skinny hand, 
"There was a ship," quoth he. 
" Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon ! " 
Eftsoons his hand dropt he. 

X The Rime of the 

The ivzdiing- Hc holds him with his glittering eye — 

Guest is spell- 

bound by the eye Xhc Wedding-Guest Stood Still, 

of the old sea- 

faring man, and ^nd listens like a three years' child : 


to hearhis tale, ^^i^ Mariner hath his will. 

The Wedding-Guest sat on a stone : 
He cannot choose but hear ; 
And thus spake on that ancient man. 
The bright -eyed Mariner. 

" The ship was cheer 'd, the harbour clear 'd, 

Merrily did we drop 

Below the kirk, below the hill, 

Below the light-house top. 

The Mariner The Sun Came up upon the left, 

tells how the ship 

sailed southward Qut of thc sca Came he ! 

with a good wind 

and fair weather, ^ud hc shoue bridit, and on the rip;ht 

till it reached ^ ' ^ 

the line. \^ent down into the sea. 

zAncient zJMariner 

Higher and higher every day 
Till over the mast at noon — ' 

The Wedding-Guest here beat his breast, rhz weUmg- 

Guest heareth the 

For he heard the loud bassoon. bridal muski 

The bride hath paced into the hall. 
Red as a rose is she ; 
Nodding their heads before her goes 
The merry minstrelsy. 

The Wedding-Guest he beat his breast, 
Yet he cannot choose but hear ; 
And thus spake on that ancient man, 
The bright-eyed Mariner. 

but the Mariner 
continue th his 

^^ And now the storm-blast came, and he 
Was tyrannous and strong : 
He struck with his overtaking wings. 
And chased us south along. 

The ship drawn 
by a storm toward 
the south pole. 

4- The Rime of the 

With sloping masts and dipping prow. 

As who pursued with yell and blow 

Still treads the shadow of his foe. 

And forward bends his head, 

The ship drove fast, loud roarM the blast, 

And southward aye we fled. 

And now there came both mist and snow. 
And it grew wonderous cold : 
And ice, mast-high, came floating by, 
As green as emerald. 

The land of ice. And through thc drifts the snowy clifts 

and of fearful 

sounds, where no Did scnd a dismal sheen : 

linjing thing was 

to be seen. Nor shapcs of men nor beasts we ken — 
The ice was all between. 

The ice was here, the ice was there. 

The ice was all around : 

It cracked and growled, and roar'd and howPd. 

Like noises in a swound ! 

z^ncient ^dMariner 

At length did cross an Albatross, 
Thorough the fog it came ; 
As if it had been a Christian soul. 
We hailed it in God's name. 

Till a. great sea- 
bird, called the 
albatross J came 
through the 
snow-jog, and 
was received 
with great wy 
and hospitality. 

It ate the food it ne'er had eat, 
And round and round it flew. 
The ice did split with a thunder-fit ; 
The helmsman steer'd us through ! 

And a good south wind sprung up behind; ^ndio! the 


The Albatross did follow, 

And every day, for food or play, 
Came to the mariners' hollo ! 

proveth a bird oj 
good omen, and 
followeth the ship 
as it returned 
through fog and 
floating ice. 

In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud, 

It perch'd for vespers nine ; 

Whiles all the night, through fog-smoke white. 

Glimmered the white Moon-shine." 

The Q^ncient zJMartner 

The ancient " God savc thcc, ancicnt Mariner ! 


inhospitably Froiii the fiends, that plague thee thus ! — 

kiUeth the 

pioHs bird of Why look'st thou so ? " — " With my cross-bow 

good omen. 

I shot the Albatross.'' 


Part II 

1 HE Sun now rose upon the right : 
Out of the sea came he, 
Still hid in mist, and on the left 
Went down into the sea. 

And the good south wind still blew behind, 
But no sweet bird did follow, 
Nor any day for food or play 
Came to the mariners' hollo ! 

And I had done a hellish thing, hu shipmates 

cry out against 

And it would work 'em woe : the ancient ^ 


For all averred, I had killed the bird K^iiingthe bird 

That made the breeze to blow. 

^ Ah wretch ! ' said they, ^ the bird to slay. 

That made the breeze to blow ! ' 

oj good !ui 

8 The Rime of the 

But when the Nor dim uoT red, like God's own head, 

fog cleared off, 

they justify the The glorious Sun uprist : 

samey and thus 

mak themselves Then all averred, I had killed the bird 

accomplices in 

the crime. That brought the fog and mist. 

^ 'Twas right/ said they, ^ such birds to slay, 
That bring the fog and mist.' 

The fair bree^ The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew, 

continues ^ the 

ship enters the The furrow foUowed free ; 

Pacific Ocean 

and sails north- We Were the first that ever burst 

wardy even till it 

reaches the Line. IntO that silent SCa. 

The ship hath Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt down, 

been suddenly 

becalmed. 'Twas sad as sad could be j 

And we did speak only to break 
The silence of the sea ! 

All in a hot and copper sky. 
The bloody Sun, at noon, 
Right up above the mast did stand. 
No bigger than the Moon. 

Q^ncient <dMariner 9 

Day after day, day after day, 
We stuck, nor breath nor motion j 
As idle as a painted ship 
Upon a painted ocean. 

Water, water, every where, ^^nd the 


And all the boards did shrink j begins to 

be avenged. 

Water, water, every where. 
Nor any drop to drink. 

The very deep did rot : O Christ ! 
That ever this should be ! 
Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs 
Upon the slimy sea. 

About, about, in reel and rout 
The death-fires danced at night • 
The water, like a witch's oils, 
Burnt green, and blue and white. 


The (^Ancient zJMariner 

yt spirit had fol- 
lowed them i one 
of the invisible 
inhabitants of 
this planet^ 
neither departed 
souls nor angels ; 
concerning whom 
the learned JeWy 
yosephus, and the 
Platonic Con- 
Ailchael Psellus, 
may be consulted. 
They are very 
numerous, and 
there Is no climate 
or element without 

And some in dreams assured were 
Of the Spirit that plagued us so ; 
Nine fathom deep he had followed us 
From the land of mist and snow. 

And every tongue, through utter drought, 
Was withered at the root j 
We could not speak, no more than if 
We had been chok'd with soot. 

The shipmates y In 

their sore distress , 

would fain throw 

the whole guilt 

on the ancient 

Afarlner: In sign 

whereoj they hang 

the dead sea-bird 

round his neck. 

Ah ! well a-day ! what evil looks 
Had I from old and young ! 
Instead of the cross, the Albatross 
About my neck was hung. 



^ -^ % 

Part III 

1 HERE passed a weary time. Each throat 
Was parched, and glazed each eye. 
A weary time ! a weary time ! 
How glazed each weary eye, 
When looking westward, I beheld 
A something in the sky. 

At first it seem'd a little speck. 
And then it seem'd a mist ; 
It moved and moved, and took at last 
A certain shape, I wist. 

The ancient 
Mariner be- 
holdeth a sign 
in the element 
afar ojf. 

A speck, a mist, a shape, I wist ! 
And still it near'd and nearM : 
As if it dodged a water-sprite, 
It plunged and tack'd and veer'd. 

IX The Rime of the 

^t its nearer With throats uHslakcd, with black lips baked, 

approach y it 

seemeth him to Wq could Hor laugh nor wail ; 

be a ship; and at 

a dear ransom Througli uttcf drought all duiTib we stood ! 

he jreeth his 

speech from the J bit mv arm. I sucked the blood, 

bonds of thirst. 

And cried, A sail ! a sail ! 

With throats unslaked, with black lips baked 
Agape they heard me call : 
^ flash ofjoyi Gramercy ! they for joy did grin. 

And all at once their breath drew in, 
As they were drinking all. 

^nd horror Scc ! sce ! (I cricd) she tacks no more ! 


For can it be a Hithcr to work US wcal ; 

ship that comes 

onward without Without a brcczc, without a tide, 

wind or tide ? 

She Steadies with upright keel ! 

The western wave was all a-flame. 
The day was well nigh done ! 
Almost upon the western wave 

(^Ancient zJMariner 1 3 

Rested the broad bright Sun ; 

When that strange shape drove suddenly 

Betwixt us and the Sun. 

And straight the Sun was flecked with bars, ^^ ^^^^^^^ ^'^^ 

but the skeleton 

(Heaven's Mother send us grace !) of a ship. 

As if through a dungeon-grate he peerM ^"^ '^^' ^'^^ ^^^ 

seen as bars on 

With broad and burning face. '^'/^" 'f'^' 

*-' setting Sun. 

Alas ! (thought I, and my heart beat loud) 
How fast she nears and nears ! 
Are those her sails that glance in the Sun, 
Like restless gossameres ? 

Are those her ribs through which the Sun 
Did peer, as through a grate > 
And is that Woman all her crew > 
Is that a Death > and are there two > 
Is Death that woman's mate > 

The spectre- 
woman and 
her death-mate^ 
and no other 
on board the 
skeleton- ship. 

14 The Rime of the 

Her lips were red, her looks were free, 
Her locks were yellow as gold : 
L\\^ vessel. Her sklii was as white as leprosy, 

lik^ crew ! 

The Night-mare Life-in-Death was she, 
Who thicks man's blood with cold. 

de^th, and The naked hulk alongside came, 


have diced for And the twain were casting dice ; 

the ship's crew, 

and she (the <• The gamc is done ! I've won, I Ve won ! ' 

latter) winneth 

the ancient Quoth shc, and whistlcs thrice. 


No twilight The Sun's rim dips j the stars rush out : 

within the 

courts of the At ouc Stride comes the dark : 


With far-heard whisper, o'er the sea. 
Off shot the spectre-bark. 

We listen'd and look'd sideways up ! 

Fear at my heart, as at a cup. 

My life-blood seem'd to sip ! 

The stars were dim, and thick the night. 

The steersman's face by his lamp gleam'd white j 

(lAncient zJMariner 


From the sails the dews did drip- 
Till clombe above the eastern bar 
The horndd Moon, with one bright star 
Within the nether tip. 

Four times fifty living men, 
(And I heard nor sigh nor groan) 
With heavy thump, a lifeless lump, 
They dropped down one by one. 

The souls did from their bodies fly. 
They fled to bliss or woe ! 
And every soul, it passed me by. 
Like the whiz of my cross-bow ! '' 

yitthe rising 
of the Mooriy 

One after one, by the star-dogg'd Moon, om after 


Too quick for groan or sigh, 

Each turn'd his face with a ghastly pang, 

And cursM me with his eye. 

Mis shipmates 
drop down 
dead j 

But Life- in- 
Death begins 
her ivorl\on 
the ancient 

Part IV 

The jvedding- \_ FEAR tlicc, ancieiit Mariner ! 

Guest feareth i i • 

that a Sf iritis I fear thy skmny hand ! 

talking to him; 

And thou art long, and lank, and brown, 
As is the ribbed sea-sand. 

I fear thee and thy glittering eye, 
And thy skinny hand, so brown." — 
But the ancient « Fear not, fear not, thou Wedding-Guest ! 


assurethhim of This body dropt not down. 

his bodily lije, 
and proceedeth to . . , 11111 

reUtehis horrible Alone, aloue, all, all alone, 
pnance. j^y^^^ ^^ ^ widc wide sea ! 

And never a saint took pity on 
My soul in agony. 

The many men, so beautiful ! 
And they all dead did lie : 
j^e despiseth And a thousand thousand slimy things 

the creatures 

0/ the caimy Liv'd on j and so did I. 

The (^Ancient zJMariner 17 

I looked upon the rotting sea, ^nd envkth 

that they should 

And drew my eyes away ; live, and so 

many lie dead, 

I looked upon the rotting deck. 
And there the dead men lay. 

I looked to Heaven, and tried to pray j 
But or ever a prayer had gusht, 
A wicked whisper came, and made 
My heart as dry as dust. 

I closed my lids, and kept them close. 

And the balls like pulses beat ; 

For the sky and the sea, and the sea and the sky 

Lay like a load on my weary eye. 

And the dead were at my feet. 

The cold sweat melted from their limbs, 
Nor rot nor reek did they : 
The look with which they look'd on me 
Had never pass'd away. 

But th 

1 8 The Rime of the 

An orphan's curse would drag to hell 

A spirit from on high ; 

But oh ! more horrible than that 

H curse 

iivethforhim Is the curse in a dead man's eye ! 

in the eyz oJ[ 

the dead men. Seven days, seven nights, I saw that curse. 
And yet I could not die. 

In his loneliness The moving Moon went up the sky, 

and fixedness he 

yearneth towards Aud no whcre did abidc : 

thejourneying ^ r^l U 

Moon, and the Sottly ShC WaS gOing Up, 

stars that still a J i • i 

sojourn.yet still ^ud a Star or two beside — 

move onward i 

"^'Zliu^lky ^^^ ^^^^ bemock'd the sultry main, 

belongs ,0 them, Ljj^g ^pj^i hoar-frost Spread ; 

and IS their ^ ^ * 

appointed rest, ^^1^ wlicre the ship's huge shadow lay, 

and their native 

country and their Xhc charmdd watcr burnt alway 

own natural 

homes, which A Still and awful red. 

they enter unan- 
nounced, as lords _. |, , ■. ^, ,. 

th^t are certainly Beyond the shadow of the ship, 

C['isf2m'oy I watch'd the water-snakes : 

at,he,rarrhal. -jy^ ^^^^^ -^^ ^^^^y.^ of shlning whitC, 

By the light of the ^ ^ ' 

MoonhebehoidetW And wheu thcy reared, the elfish light 

God's creatures of 

the great calm. Fell ofF iu hoary flakes. 

oyTncient <iJMariner 


Within the shadow of the ship 

I watch'd their rich attire : 

Blue, glossy green, and velvet black, 

They coiled and swam j and every track 

Was a flash of golden fire. 

O happy living things ! no tongue 

Their beauty might declare : 

A spring of love gushed from my heart. 

And I blessed them unaware : 

Sure my kind saint took pity on me, 

And I blessed them unaware. 

Their beauty and 
their happiness. 

He hlesseth them 
in his heart. 

The self same moment I could pray ; 
And from my neck so free 
The Albatross fell off, and sank 
Like lead into the sea. 

The spell begins 
to breaf{. 

Part V 

Oh sleep ! it is a gentle thing, 
Belov'd from pole to pole ! 
To Mary Queen the praise be given ! 
She sent the gentle sleep from Heaven, 
That slid into my soul. 

By grace of the The siUy buckets on the deck, 

holy Mother, 

the ancient That had SO loug remained, 

Afariner is 

refreshed with I dreamt that they were filled with dew ; 


And when I awoke, it rained. 

My lips were wet, my throat was cold. 
My garments all were dank ; 
Sure I had drunken in my dreams, 
And still my body drank. 

The (^Ancient dMartner 

I moved, and could not feel my limbs : 
I was so light — almost 
I thought that I had died in sleep, 
And was a blessdd ghost. 


And soon I heard a roaring wind : 
It did not come anear ; 
But with its sound it shook the sails. 
That were so thin and sere. 

Hz heareth 
sounds and seeth 
strange sights 
and commotions 
in the sky and 
the element. 

The upper air burst into life ! 
And a hundred fire-flags sheen, 
To and fro they were hurried about ! 
And to and fro, and in and out, 
The wan stars danced between. 

And the coming wind did roar more loud. 
And the sails did sigh like sedge ; 
And the rain pour'd down from one black cloud ; 
The Moon was at its edge. 

2X The Rime of the 

The thick black cloud was cleft, and still 
The Moon was at its side : 
Like waters shot from some high crag. 
The lightning fell with never a jag, 
A river steep and wide. 

The loud wind never reached the ship. 
Yet now the ship moved on ! 
Beneath the lightning and the Moon 
The dead men gave a groan. 

The hod'm of Thev groan'd, they stirr'd, they all uprose, 

the sh'xfs crew 

are inspirited, Nor spakc, nor moved their eyes j 

and the ship 

moves oni It had bccn Strange, even in a dream. 
To have seen those dead men rise. 

The helmsman steered, the ship moved on ; 

Yet never a breeze up-blew ; 

The mariners all 'gan work the ropes, 

Where they were wont to do ; 

They raised their limbs like lifeless tools — 

We were a ghastly crew. 

rLAncient zJMariner 


The body of my brother's son 
Stood by me, knee to knee : 
The body and I pulled at one rope. 
But he said nought to me." 

" I fear thee, ancient Mariner ! " 
" Be calm, thou Wedding-Guest ! 
'Twas not those souls that fled in pain. 
Which to their corses came again, 
But a troop of spirits blest : 

But not by the 
souls of the men, 
nor by daemons of 
earth or middle 
air, but by a 
blessed troop of 
angelic spirits, 
sent down by the 
invocation of the 
guardian saint. 

For when it dawned — they dropped their arms, 
And clustered round the mast ; 
Sweet sounds rose slowly through their mouths. 
And from their bodies passed. 

Around, around, flew each sweet sound, 
Then darted to the Sun j 
Slowly the sounds came back again, 
Now mixed, now one by one. 

14 The Rime of the 

Sometimes a-dropping from the sky 
I heard the sky-lark sing j 
Sometimes all little birds that are. 
How they seem'd to fill the sea and air 
With their sweet jargoning ! 

And now 'twas like all instruments, 
Now like a lonely fiute j 
And now it is an angePs song, 
That makes the heavens be mute. 

It ceased ; yet still the sails made on 

A pleasant noise till noon, 

A noise like of a hidden brook 

In the leafy month of June, 

That to the sleeping woods all night 

Singeth a quiet tune. 

Till noon we quietly sailed on. 
Yet never a breeze did breathe : 
Slowly and smoothly went the ship. 
Moved onward from beneath. 

(lAncient zJMariner 


Under the keel nine fathom deep. 
From the land of mist and snow, 
The spirit slid : and it was he 
That made the ship to go. 
The sails at noon left off" their tune. 
And the ship stood still also. 

The lonesome 
Spirit from the 
south pole carries 
on the ship as 
far as the Line^ 
in obedience to 
the angelic troops 
hut still 

The Sun, right up above the mast, 
Had fixed her to the ocean : 
But in a minute she 'gan stir, 
With a short uneasy motion — 
Backwards and forwards half her length 
With a short uneasy motion. 

Then like a pawing horse let go. 
She made a sudden bound : 
It flung the blood into my head. 
And I fell down in a swound. 

How long in that same fit I lay, 

I have not to declare ; 

But ere my living life returned. 

x6 The z^ncient ^dMariner 

I heard, and in my soul discerned 

Tht Polar ... 

Spims fellow- Two VOICES in the air. 

demons, the 
invisible in- 

the 'element ^ Is it he ? ' quoth One, ^ is this the man > 
hiswZng] By Him who died on cross, 
relate, one to With his cruel bow he laid full low 

the other, that 

penance long The harmless Albatross. 

and heavy for 
the ancient 
Mariner hath .. I'lii i- i*- 

been accorded Thc Spirit who bidcth by himself 

to the Polar 

Spirit, who In the land of mist and snow, 


southward. He lovcd the bird that loved the man 
Who shot him with his bow.' 

The other was a softer voice, 

As soft as honey -dew : 

Quoth he, ^ The man hath penance done, 

And penance more will do.' 

Part VI 

First Voice 
JjuT tell me, tell me ! speak again, 
Thy soft response renewing — 
What makes that ship drive on so fast > 
What is the ocean doing ? 

Second Voice 
Still as a slave before his lord. 
The OCEAN hath no blast ; 
His great bright eye most silently 
Up to the Moon is cast — 

If he may know which way to go ; 
For she guides him smooth or grim. 
See, brother, see ! how graciously 
She looketh down on him. 

i8 The Rime of the 

First Voice 
The Mariner But why drives Oil that ship so fast, 

hath been cast 

into a trances WithoUt Of WaVC Or wind ? 

for the angelic 
power causeth the SsCOtld KoicB 

•vessel to drive 

northward faster Thc air is cut away before, 

than human life 

could endure. And closcs from behind. 

Fly, brother, fly ! more high, more high 
Or we shall be belated : 
For slow and slow that ship will go, 
When the Mariner's trance is abated.' 

The super- \ wokc, and we were sailing on 

natural motion 

is retarded i the As in a gentle weather : 

Mariner awakes y 

and his penance 'T was night, calm night, the Moon was high ; 

begins anew. 

The dead men stood together. 

All stood together on the deck. 
For a charnel-dungeon fitter : 
All fixed on me their stony eyes, 
That in the Moon did glitter. 

<z^ncient zSMariner 29 

The pang, the curse, with which they died. 
Had never passed away : 
I could not draw my eyes from theirs, 
Nor turn them up to pray. 

And now this spell was snapt : once more The mrse is 

finally expiatedy 

I viewed the ocean green, 

And looked far forth, yet little saw 

Of what had else been seen — 

Like one, that on a lonesome road 

Doth walk in fear and dread. 

And having once turnM round, walks on, 

And turns no more his head ; 

Because he knows, a frightful fiend 

Doth close behind him tread. 

But soon there breathed a wind on me. 
Nor sound nor motion made : 
Its path was not upon the sea, 
In ripple or in shade. 

go The Rime of the 

It raised my hair, it fanned my cheek 
Like a meadow-gale of spring — 
It mingled strangely with my fears, 
Yet it felt like a welcoming. 

Swiftly, swiftly flew the ship, 
Yet she sailed softly too : 
Sweetly, sweetly blew the breeze — 
On me alone it blew. 


\oldeth his 
native country 

^nd the ancient Oh! drcam of joy ! is this indeed 


behoideth his The light -housc top I see > 

Is this the hill > is this the kirk > 
Is this mine own countree > 

We drifted o'er the harbour-bar. 
And I with sobs did pray — 
O let me be awake, my God ! 
Or let me sleep alway. 

The harbour-bay was clear as glass. 
So smoothly it was strewn ! 

Q^ncient zJMariner 

And on the bay the moonlight lay. 
And the shadow of the moon. 

The rock shone bright, the kirk no less. 
That stands above the rock : , 
The moonlight steeped in silentness 
The steady weathercock. 

And the bay was white with silent light, 
Till rising from the same, 
Full many shapes, that shadows were. 
In crimson colours came. 

A little distance from the prow 
Those crimson shadows were : 
I turned my eyes upon the deck — 
Oh, Christ ! what saw I there ! 

Each corse lay Hat, lifeless and flat. 
And, by the holy rood ! 
A man all light, a seraph-man. 
On every corse there stood. 


The angelic 
spirits leave the 
dead bodies y 

u^nd appear in 
their own forms 

:^z The Rime of the 

This seraph-band, each waved his hand 
It was a heavenly sight ! 
They stood as signals to the land, 
Each one a lovely light ; 

This seraph-band, each waved his hand 
No voice did they impart — 
No voice ; but oh ! the silence sank 
Like music on my heart. 

But soon I heard the dash of oars, 
I heard the Pilot's cheer ; 
My head was turn'd perforce away. 
And I saw a boat appear. 

The Pilot and the Pilot's boy, 
I heard them coming fast : 
Dear Lord in Heaven ! it was a joy 
The dead men could not blast. 

(^Ancient zJMar'tner 


I saw a third — I heard his voice : 

It is the Hermit good ! 

He singeth loud his godly hymns 

That he makes in the wood. 

He'll shrieve my soul, he'll wash away 

The Albatross's blood. 

*i>3gVT y r T y Vk y T T y TVAfc 

Part VII 

The Hermit of 1 HIS Hermit good lives in that wood 

the Wood, , . , , 

Which slopes down to the sea. 
How loudly his sweet voice he rears ! 
He loves to talk with marineres 
That come from a far countree. 

He kneels at morn^ and noon, and eve — 

He hath a cushion plump : 

It is the moss that wholly hides 

The rotted old oak-stump. 

^pproacheth the Thc SkifF-boat near'd : I heard them talk. 

thlp with wonder. , • • -r 

^ Why, this IS strange, I trow ! 

Where are those lights so many and fair, 

That signal made but now > ' 

The (L/Incient dMariner 3 y 

^ Strange, by my faith ! ' the Hermit said — 

^ And they answered not our cheer ! 

The planks looked warped ! and see those sails, 

How thin they are and sere ! 

I never saw aught like to them, 

Unless perchance it were 

Brown skeletons of leaves that lag 
My forest-brook along ^ 
When the ivy-tod is heavy with snow, 
And the owlet whoops to the wolf below. 
That eats the she-wolPs young.' 

^ Dear Lord ! it hath a fiendish look— 
(The Pilot made reply) 
I am a-feared ' — ^ Push on, push on ! ' 
Said the Hermit cheerily. 

The boat came closer to the ship, 
But I nor spake nor stirred : 
The boat came close beneath the ship. 
And straight a sound was heard. 

3 6 The Rime of the 

The shifsud' Under the water it rumbled on, 

denly sink^th. 

Still louder and more dread : 

It reached the ship, it split the bay ; 

The ship went down like lead: 

The ancient Stunned by that loud and dreadful sound. 

Mariner is 

saved in the Which sky and ocean smote, 

Pilot's boat. 

Like one that hath been seven days drown'd 
My body lay afloat ; 
But swift as dreams, myself I found 
Within the Pilot's boat. 

Upon the whirl, where sank the ship. 
The boat spun round and round ; 
And all was still, save that the hill 
Was telling of the sound. 

I moved my lips — the Pilot shrieked 
And fell down in a fit ; 
The holy Hermit raised his eyes, 
And prayed where he did sit. 

cLAncient zJMariner 


I took the oars : the Pilot's boy. 

Who now doth crazy go, 

Laughed loud and long, and all the while 

His eyes went to and fro. 

^ Ha ! ha ! ' quoth he, ^ full plain I see. 

The Devil knows how to row.' 

And now, all in my own countree, 

I stood on the firm land ! 

The Hermit stepped forth from the boat, 

And scarcely he could stand. 

^ O shrieve me, shrieve me, holy man ! ' 
The Hermit cross'd his brow. 
^ Say quick,' quoth he, ^ I bid thee say — 
What manner of man art thou > ' 

Forthwith this frame of mine was wrenched 
With a woeful agony, 
Which forced me to begin my tale ; 
And then it left me free. 

The ancient 
Atariner earnest- 
ly entreateth the 
Hermit to 
shrieve him ^ 
and the penance 
of life falls on 

58 The Rime of the 

^nd ever and Sincc tlicn, at an uncertain hour, 

anon throughont 

his future life That agony returns : 

an agony con- 

straineth him to And till Hiy ghastly tale is told, 

travel jrom land 

to land i This heart within me burns. 

I pass, like night, from land to land ; 
I have strange power of speech ; 
That moment that his face I see, 
I know the man that must hear me : 
To him my tale I teach. 

What loud uproar bursts from that door ! 
The wedding-guests are there : 
But in the garden-bower the bride 
And bride-maids singing are : 
And hark the little vesper bell. 
Which biddeth me to prayer ! 

O Wedding-Guest ! this soul hath been 
Alone on a wide wide sea : 
So lonely 'twas, that God himself 
Scarce seemdd there to be. 

(^Ancient zSidariner 3 9 

O sweeter than the marriage-feast, 
'Tis sweeter far to me, 
To walk together to the kirk 
With a goodly company ! — 

To walk together to the kirk, 

And all together pray. 

While each to his great Father bends. 

Old men, and babes, and loving friends 

And youths and maidens gay ! 

Farewell, farewell ! but this I tell ^nd to teach, 

by his own 

To thee, thou Wedding-Guest ! example, lo-ve 

and reverence 

He prayeth well, who loveth well ^^ '^^^ ^^'"^^ 

that God made 

Both man and bird and beast. andiovetk 

He prayeth best, who loveth best 
All things both great and small ; 
For the dear God who loveth us. 
He made and loveth all.'' 

40 The z^nc'tent ^Mariner 

The Mariner^ whose eye is bright. 
Whose beard with age is hoar, 
Is gone : and now the Wedding-Guest 
Turned from the bridegroom's door. 

He went like one that hath been stunned. 
And is of sense forlorn : 
A sadder and a wiser man, 
He rose the morrow morn. 

750 copes printed At the Oxford Vniversky Press 

ty John Johnson 

Printer to the Vnlversity 

Designed bj Bruce Rogers